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  #1  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:03 PM
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Can They Charge Parents Child Support For Foster Care?

Baby Lucky, who was with us a month, was just returned to his mom on Wednesday. He came to us as a two-week-old, hospitalized for the second time since birth due to weight loss. As it turned out, he had multiple medical issues causing him to be unable to gain weight. When he was hospitalized last week, they finally figured out that it was not his mom's fault he was not gaining weight. She was allowed to take over more and more of his care at the hospital, and did wonderfully.

When we went to the hospital to say goodbye to him on Friday, she told us they are going to bill her for child support for the time he was in foster care. How can they do that? She did nothing wrong; I don't think he ever should have been removed. She is handling this with much more grace than I would have, but I am outraged that they are planning to charge her for taking her son from her for a month.

Is there anything she can do? I would love to figure out how to make this not happen.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2012, 08:22 PM
just-breathe just-breathe is offline
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Yes, they can seek child support from parents for kids in care. The state is seeking it from our fk's parents. If the parent is adjudicated and it is determined by a judge that the child needs to be in care, that does not absolve the parent from the costs of the care for their children. Whether they have custody of the child or not, until TPR that child is still theirs and they should be responsible for the cost of the child's care. I doubt the state ever sees much money from this, though, as a lot of parents of kids in care have poverty issues. In my area, at least. You can't get water from a stone.

She needs to get a lawyer to handle this for her. If there was a medical issue that was undiagnosed, but she was seeking medical treatment for him, I bet the lawyer could help her out.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:22 PM
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Here if parents are found guilty of abuse or neglect, they are charged for all the costs associated with their child being in care. Typically they are billed a nominal amount monthly for the rest of their lives. If on ssi, I heard it's automatically taken from their check.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:52 PM
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I'm glad the mom got her baby boy back. This kind of thing happens way too much, if you ask me. I've heard a number of similar stories from our county DHS social workers.

I would encourage her to contact the Legal Aid Society. If they can't help her, she should contact the local chapter of the ACLU and see if they can point her in the right direction.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:57 PM
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Yes, they can charge parents for child support but in this case the parent did nothing wrong for her child to be in foster care. I think she should consult with a lawyer regarding the child support. I'm glad it only took a month. I'm sure similar cases took much longer to figure out. Please update if you can.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvbeingamom
YI'm sure similar cases took much longer to figure out. Please update if you can.
There have been quite a few mothers who have served actual prison time for the illness or death of their babies, and then later on were fully exonerated by the state after doctors realized that the babies really were sick with genetic diseases or disorders. One woman, who I can't remember the name of, served something like ten years in prison for killing her infant son. She delivered another child within months of being incarcerated, and that child was also afflicted with the hereditary disease. Since the second child never lived with either parent and was in foster care under the care of the state, the doctors finally started listening to what the poor mom had been telling everybody for years...
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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Yes. I know my AD's mom paid child support for Chuy until she surrendered her rights. She still pays child support for them in the KLG situation I believe.

This case sounds wrong though. Was there even an adjudication? I would think that with a proven medical condition mom should be absolved of any costs as long as, like PP said, she was seeking medical help for his issues.

I agree with PPs that talking to a lawyer is probably the first step but the lawyer might cost as much or more than the child support so maybe try Raven's suggestions.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:16 PM
luvbeingamom luvbeingamom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenSong
There have been quite a few mothers who have served actual prison time for the illness or death of their babies, and then later on were fully exonerated by the state after doctors realized that the babies really were sick with genetic diseases or disorders. One woman, who I can't remember the name of, served something like ten years in prison for killing her infant son. She delivered another child within months of being incarcerated, and that child was also afflicted with the hereditary disease. Since the second child never lived with either parent and was in foster care under the care of the state, the doctors finally started listening to what the poor mom had been telling everybody for years...

What a nightmare! It seems like this day and age genetic disease should be detected easier. Most "failure to thrive" babies I know were from bios that were not feeding properly. One baby that died in her adoptive parents arms had a genetic disease. However, her parents were not equipped to handle it. Her siblings were returned and the baby was given freely for adoption to the foster parents. It was the best solution to a horrific problem. She lived and was loved for four beautiful years.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:58 PM
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I really don't have much insight on this topic and I am glad this person was able to get her son back as well assuming it was for the best.

I do have to say this is the first I have heard of collecting child support from the parents, perhaps this does not happen in CA. I have to admit though that I feel it actually is a good thing. I mean all along in our kinship case I have felt why should my sister and her sig other be let off scott free? Not paying a darn thing for their children, not getting them anything ever and not even raising them. Yes they may live in poverty, but in my case it is more by their choice in my opinion, they just don't 'feel like getting a job.' I don't think it needs to be a huge amount, but if they truly care about their kids it could be at least something they contribute. I am grateful to the state for our monthly stipen, but let's be honest it doesn't cover all the kids costs or all the additional cost we have now just inccured taking on two kids. Plus it's like I am a full time nanny, they get paid a heck of a lot of money last time I checked... of course I wouldn't trade having my niece and nephew here for anything, but it peeves me at least in a situation like ours. I work full time, do college courses full time and I'm working hard to start my own life let alone raising two children I didn't have by my own choice. Why should my sis and her sig other get given, monthly food stamps, free shelter, free medical etc, while I raise their children that they don't even IMHO seem to care much about? What I guess just sucks is knowing we do all this and they still may go back to a horrible situation, why can't we hold the parents responsible, at least until TPR. I mean if they really want their kids back they should be trying to contribute just because they want what's right for their kids. Sorry for the long rant... I just like the idea of collecting support from some of these parents, at least it holds them accountable for something.

Last edited by lifechanges : 04-15-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2012, 09:58 PM
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It is a parent's responsibility to support their child. Most areas charge BPs child support...however it is usually after they are found "guilty" of dependency/neglect. If the case was only open a month I doubt they could get it done.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:04 PM
luvbeingamom luvbeingamom is offline
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Lifechanges, in California they CAN charge bio parents child support. My FFS parents paid until his father lost his job. I told CPS I would refuse the stipend if they charged my family members child support for my kinship placements. Thankfully, their income level was too low to be charged.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvbeingamom
Lifechanges, in California they CAN charge bio parents child support. My FFS parents paid until his father lost his job. I told CPS I would refuse the stipend if they charged my family members child support for my kinship placements. Thankfully, their income level was too low to be charged.

Interesting, maybe my sis and her sig. other's is too low to charge them as well, or maybe they just don't pay it? I agree that some people to go through rough times, but in my case I think more than anything is just laziness at this point and it's 'easy' to come visit and then leave. I mean maybe don't contribute to us directly, but maybe require bio parents to start a college fund or something, just anything to hold them responsible for their children...maybe that's horrible, but again in my case I think it would be a good thing.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifechanges
I do have to say this is the first I have heard of collecting child support from the parents, perhaps this does not happen in CA. I have to admit though that I feel it actually is a good thing.
It happends in Ca,but the parents can remind them of welfare.I know that worked in someones case,I know.Also they could be refusing to pay,since they don't have a job.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:01 AM
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SO glad mom got her baby back.
Yes, child support is often a part of the case plan; but I agree with you that it should be waived in this case.

The failure to thrive due to a congenital issue can be challenging for CPS. My five year old had this issue. He has a congenital issue known to cause kids not to grow well until treated. Well, it took a couple years to figure out what was wrong and start treatment. However, when he was hospitalized at one point, he gained significant weight DAILY. So was it just the health issue? The family still seemed to think so (of course, they probably were also only privy to what mom told them). Same thing with the kids got here (which is a little odd just because they were in another foster home for several weeks before we got them). My boys (at almost 3 and almost 4 years old) were 21 and 24 pounds. They gained two pounds that first week before we ever got them to the doctor. They gained another two pounds that month. THen it slowed down but the one gained over 12 pounds for the year and the other 9 pounds for the year (despite refusing to eat, not knowing how to do it correctly, and puking for months!). The average kid those ages gains 4-5 pounds per year. That is MAJOR catch up growth!

Anyway, not that it is any excuse for taking a kid without knowing what is going on. Mine was taken (a couple times) because of other issues. But it does kinda make sense that with some congenital issues it may look like the parent is doing it and not be proven otherwise for awhile down the road--the biggest factor being if someone else can get the kid to grow (like in my son's case). Sometimes BOTH situations (congenital and parental) are the case.

But I am so glad this mother is getting her kiddo back. I *love* when good people get their children back, even if it hurts us like crazy. But I absolutely do not think she should have to pay further for the mistake!
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:41 AM
luvbeingamom luvbeingamom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifechanges
Interesting, maybe my sis and her sig. other's is too low to charge them as well, or maybe they just don't pay it? I agree that some people to go through rough times, but in my case I think more than anything is just laziness at this point and it's 'easy' to come visit and then leave. I mean maybe don't contribute to us directly, but maybe require bio parents to start a college fund or something, just anything to hold them responsible for their children...maybe that's horrible, but again in my case I think it would be a good thing.

When parents have to pay child support, it goes directly to CPS against all the services and foster care stipend the case is costing. It's kind of like if a mother is on welfare, a father's wages are attached but it goes to welfare against what it's costing. Sorry, my grammar is terrible. In my case, if this happened, it would have made my life a living hell. I understand CPS does not do this unless the parents make a decent wage, at least here, so rarely if the truth be known.
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